September 7, 2016
Dear Church Family:
Over the next month, we will be making a vital decision as a church family. As a member of the church, you will want to bathe this decision in prayer and partake in it via your presence and vote.
When I came as a candidate for the pastoral role at Emmanuel, I shared that there was a need for a revision of the church’s governing documents and that if called, I would lead the church accordingly. The leadership of the church agreed, and the results of the church survey concurred. Two years have passed since that time and we’ve been busy working with the deacons and revision committee and are now ready to present that revised document to the congregation. A timeline is on the back of this letter as well as the church’s website.
It is important for us to keep in mind that there is only one document that is to be our final authority of faith and practice—the Holy Scriptures. Any human attempt to present the beliefs and procedures will by nature be flawed and imperfect. Therefore, church constitutions should never be a stagnated document left unchanged. A church constitution is neither a substitute for nor a supplement to the Scriptures, but merely an application of what we believe are the teaching and principles of the Bible as applied to the people of EBC.
Our primary goals in presenting a revised constitution are stated simply in the words, update, refresh, and align. Update to include important statements regarding contemporary issues and legal matters. Refresh to add accountability where needed and streamline processes to minimalize beurocracy and allow for future growth. Align with a biblically faithful and healthy polity that is as close to the New Testament structure as possible.
In short, we want our constitution to be a step in moving forward, to be something that we appreciate for giving us the boundaries and guidelines to do effective ministry. We don’t want the constitution to be something that is “worked around” for decades, but something we “work with” for years to come.
I would encourage each of you to spend time in prayer over this decision. The leadership would also ask for your feedback and questions regarding any concerns or encouraging things you see in the proposed document.
Grace to you,
- Summer: 2014 Announcement of the need for constitution revisions with the pastoral candidate, Jayson Byrd.
- July 2014: Document of suggested changes to the congregation from pastoral candidate shared with the congregation.
- July 2014: Calling of Jayson Byrd as lead pastor approved by congregational vote.
- Spring and Summer 2015: Revision document drafted and discussed by pastor and deacons.
- October 2015: Announcement at Members Meeting of the formation of a Constitution Revision Committee. Nominations for Revision Committee given by congregation.
- November 2015: Revision Committee members approved by congregational vote. Committee meets and is given copies of the draft proposed by pastor and deacons and given time to read and discuss the document.
- May 2016: Revision Committee meets to collaborate feedback on proposed draft.
- July 2016: Revision Committee meets again to review adjustments made in collaborative efforts and make additional recommendations.
- July 10, 2016: An announcement is made at a Regular Members meeting that the revision committee in nearing completion of a proposed revised constitution and the implementation and voting process is explained.
- August 2016: Meetings and Dates announced of Members Meeting, Q&A, and Special Business Meeting in the bulletin throughout the entire month of August.
- September 11th, 2016: Member’s Meeting after morning service presenting revised constitution.
- September 18th Combined Sunday School Class as a Q&A regarding the amended constitution.
- September 25 Special Business Meeting to vote on the proposed constitution.
Here is an electronic copy of the Proposed Revised Constitution.
Hard copies of the revised constitution, as well as the current constitution, are available at the church office.